Olympians, National Champions to Compete at U.S. Open in Colorado Springs, September 26-28

Sept. 25, 2008, 2:40 p.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - Once the home of the U.S. Open Judo Championships for 17 years, Colorado Springs again will play host to one of the most prestigious international tournaments in the hemisphere from Sept. 26-28.

The tournament will be held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Sports Center I with the senior elite divisions being held on Sept. 26-27 and the master's (30-years-old and over) and kata (forms) being held on Sept. 28.

Competition schedule is as follows:

Friday September 26

(Women's 44kg, 63kg, 70kg, 78kg and +78kg and Men's 55kg, 81kg, 90kg, 100kg and +100kg)

9 a.m.      Preliminary and bronze medal rounds

6 p.m.      Opening Ceremonies

6:30 p.m. Gold medal finals

Saturday September 27

(Women's 48kg, 52kg, 57kg and Open and Men's 60kg, 66kg, 73kg and Open)

9 a.m.      Preliminary and bronze medal rounds

5 p.m.      Gold medal finals

Sunday September 28

(Masters and kata divisions)

9 a.m.      Masters divisions

1 p.m.      Kata divisions

The U.S. Open, which was held most recently in Gwinnett County, Ga. in 2007, was held in Colorado Springs 17 times between 1982 and 1999.  A USA Judo Senior B-Level Point Tournament, the U.S. Open draws competitors from more than 20 nations throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America and Oceania annually.

"Since I arrived at USA Judo three years ago, I have heard from many of the great U.S. Open that used to be held in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center. Now we have it back by popular demand - a U.S. Open at the Olympic Training Center," said USA Judo CEO Jose H. Rodriguez (Colorado Springs, Colo.)  "Those that have not been to the OTC in recent years will be impressed with the many improvements and changes that have been made. Besides, it is always a great pleasure to work with the professional staff of the USOC who are used to putting on first-class events in all sports year-round."

Among the athletes competing in the event will be at least 10 reigning National Champions and five members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.

Olympians scheduled to compete include:

  • Taylor Takata (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / 66kg), ninth-place finisher at the Olympic Games
  • Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / 73kg), three-time World Cup medalist
  • Travis Stevens (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center / 81kg), ninth-place finisher at the Olympic Games and 2007 Pan Am Games Champion
  • Adler Volmar (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami / 100kg), 2007 Pan American Championships medalist in the Open division
  • Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE / +100kg), ninth-place finisher at the Olympic Games

Reigning Senior National Champions scheduled to compete include:

  • Natalie Lafon (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center / 48kg), 2007 Rendez-Vous Canada silver medalist
  • Ann Shiraishi (San Francisco, Calif. / East Bay Judo Institute / 52kg), 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate at 48kg
  • Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University / 57kg), ninth-place finisher at the 2007 World Championships at 63kg
  • Janine Nakao (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University / 63kg), fifth-place finisher at the 2007 Finnish Open
  • Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE / 78kg), two-time U.S. Open Champion
  • Nick Kossor (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center / 60kg), 2007 Pan Am Team member
  • Bobby Lee (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE / 73kg), 2006 U.S. Open Champion
  • Garry St. Leger (Brooklyn, N.Y. / NYAC / Legrosports Starrett / 90kg), 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate
  • Djamaldin Aliev (Centennial, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / 100kg), two-time World Team member
  • Kyle Vashkulat (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center / Open), 2008 Junior World Team member in the 100kg division

After placing fifth at the Paralympic Games earlier this month, 100kg player Myles Porter (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) will compete at the Open in attempt to become only the second legally blind athlete ever to place at the U.S. Open. 

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